Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Review: 5 Stars
The first time I read Beautiful Creatures was shortly after I graduated high school and I absolutely loved it. I went out and bought the rest of the series, but for some reason I never actually read the rest of the series. I have been reading a lot of backlist books and series recently, and I’ve always wanted to return to this one, but it had been so long since I read Beautiful Creatures that I knew I had to reread it to continue the series. I can totally see why I loved this book back then, but reading it now I love it just as much, but for different reasons.
I absolutely love the southern plantation setting! I have gone down south and visited several plantations and I learned so much about the Civil War. While this story is set in the present day, the small town of Gatlin is full of Civil War history. The town and its residents are so full of southern culture that the setting really comes to life in rich and vivid detail. There were times this book had me so hungry with all of its descriptions of southern food. I had to go out and buy biscuits! I love how well Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl capture the south in this book. I grew up watching Gone with the Wind, but also obsessed with witches, so I loved the southern gothic vibes.
The romance is a central aspect to the plot and probably the main reason I loved this book so much when I was younger. The teenage romance between Lena and Ethan is emotional and definitely captured how it feels to be in love as a teenager. The book is very character and romance driven and you really wind up loving Ethan and Lena, but also all of the townsfolk and side characters. I loved the scenes with Ethan and his great aunts. They were absolutely hilarious and really made me laugh. All of the major and minor characters were so fleshed out that it was so easy to feel a part of this story. The characters are all full of southern charm and they really added to the small southern town vibe.
The writing was great. I feel like the dialogue was done especially well and captured the voice and personalities of individual characters. I also really appreciated that the story is told from Ethan’s point of view. Male POVs are hard to find in YA and I really enjoyed reading from Ethan’s perspective. Beautiful Creatures is written in first person, so you get to experience the entire story through Ethan’s eyes. It’s a really easy read and the writing is captivating, so despite the fact that the book is huge I still whipped through it really fast.
It was really fun to reread this book now that I’m a bit older, but I still loved it just as much as I did the first time around. I love the southern setting and culture that is captured in this book and the gothic vibes make the entire story feel witchy. The characters are all filled with personality and the writing is captivating. I would highly recommend this book to people who love paranormal romance, southern gothic books, or just enjoy YA books that have characters filled with personality.